Marchionne: Maserati will compete with Porsche and Bentley, not Ferrari

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 23, 2011

Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat (the owner of Ferrari), said that Ferrari won’t compete with brands like Porsche or Bentley. He explained that Fiat will instead use Maserati to rival these brands in the luxury sports car segment. He believes that Maserati is a stronger challenger than Ferrari.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Marchionne said that Ferrari “plays in its own box." He said that Ferrari isn’t working on a luxury SUV that will go up against the Porsche Cayenne and a new Bentley SUV. He also said that Ferrari won’t be launching a four-door car to compete with the Aston Martin Rapide.

In the mid-term, Ferrari plans to reach annual sales of 10,000 units, from attaining a record 7,000 expected for 2011. Ferrari achieved worldwide sales of 6,573 cars in 2010. He added that it would be ''dangerous'' for Ferrari to aim for annual sales of 15,000. Marchionne reiterated that Fiat is prioritizing for it to be able to keep the brand’s integrity.

He said that it cannot minimize the brand’s uniqueness and so it has to be “very, very careful." Maserati will compete with Bentley and Porsche and so Fiat has heavily invested in it since it believes that it has all the elements to go up against them.

He seeks to increase Maserati's annual sales ten times to around 55,000-60,000 units from selling just 5,675 last year. To achieve this goal, it is launching two new sedans and a new SUV previewed last September at the Frankfurt auto show.

Here comes Maserati Kubang sport luxury SUV, the embodiment of the carmaker’s direction to enlarge its product range as well as further boost its presence in the market. Now being unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Kubang represents how Maserati plans to offer a thrilling driving experience blended with a luxury atmosphere – two attributes that current SUVs couldn’t seem to provide but high-end sports and luxury cars could.

In a sense, the Kubang creates discontinuity by entering a new segment as well as continuity as it still features the integrity of Maserati's design DNA. Maserati first unveiled the Kubang sport luxury SUV concept at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003. At the time, some other brands were still considering whether to create sport luxury SUV, while Maserati is already planning to build one.

To build the right sport luxury SUV, Maserati needs the right inspiration and the right catalyst. For that, Maserati turned to sister brand Jeep and the potential synergies that could come along.

After all, Jeep created the SUV segment around seven decades ago and has been a dominant force to reckon with. The Maserati Kubang concept started it all for the brand, and thus the new sport luxury SUV will be aptly named after it.

Of course, the essence as well as all major system components of the Kubang will be Maserati, whether in terms of style, handling or performance. In addition, the engine, suspensions and brakes of the Kubang are all Maserati, thereby continuing with the brand's core values of style, elegance and sportiness, as well as luxury, craftsmanship and performance.

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